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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Regional entrepreneurs embrace Advance Queensland opportunities

    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business
    The Honourable Leeanne Enoch

    Saturday, April 22, 2017

    Regional entrepreneurs embrace Advance Queensland opportunities

    Queensland’s regional innovators continue to tap into opportunities through the Palaszczuk Government’s $405 million whole of government Advance Queensland initiative.

    Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy Leeanne Enoch said a growing number of councils, business and community organisations, and startups in regional Queensland, were eager to be part of the $6 million Advancing Regional Innovation Program.

    “The program is aimed at encouraging entrepreneurs, consumers, business leaders and key industries in regional areas to embrace new ideas, showcase local innovative businesses and work together to build new opportunities and jobs for their local communities,” Ms Enoch said.

    “The Palaszczuk Government is investing $500,000 over three years in 12 Queensland regions. This funding is designed to encourage collaborative, region-wide project proposals that support these diverse communities to embrace greater entrepreneurship and innovation.”

    Pre-registered lead applicants in 12 regions, including Far North Queensland, North Queensland, Mackay-Isaac-Whitsunday, Fitzroy, Outback Queensland, Wide Bay-Burnett, Darling Downs and Maranoa, Sunshine Coast, Moreton Bay, Ipswich and West Moreton, Redlands and Logan, and the Gold Coast will have to lodge their final submissions to secure funding by April 28.

    At this stage of the process, 118 organisations including local entrepreneurs, business incubators, small and large businesses, councils, regional development organisations and regional universities are working on submissions. There are currently 14 lead applicants in the 12 regions, with two each from the Gold Coast and North Queensland regions.

    “Each region has the opportunity to design their own plan to deliver initiatives that develop skills, improve access to mentors and investors, identify and showcase local success stories, and encourage collaboration and innovation to overcome specific regional challenges. These projects will help create new business opportunities and jobs for regional and rural Queenslanders,” Ms Enoch said.

    Each of the designated 12 regions also sent delegations to showcase their innovative businesses and startups at last month’s Myriad festival at the Brisbane Powerhouse.

    “Attending Myriad was a great opportunity for these regional startups and early stage entrepreneurs to grow their networks, get inspired by new ideas and opportunities, develop business and investor leads and make the connections they need to solidify their local startup ecosystem,” Ms Enoch said.

    Ten regional representatives were also supported to participate in the Startup Catalyst Leaders Mission to the United States earlier this year. This opportunity allowed them to build global connections, meet some of world’s best innovators and bring back new ideas for their local communities.

    "Once programs get up and going in each region we expect to see an increase in business collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurial activity in and across our 12 regions,” Ms Enoch said.

    Visit the Advancing Regional Innovation Program for more details. Eligible applications will be assessed in a competitive, merit based process by an assessment panel including members with relevant industry, business community and regional development or scientific research expertise.

    ENDS

    MEDIA 0412 393 909